Mastering the Art of Employee Delegation

Delegating Tasks to Employees | Salsbury & Co. Business Consulting, Vancouver WA

Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others – John Maxwell

Leaders and managers are not given authority and responsibility so that they'll do everything themselves, but because of their ability and gift to find someone who can. A leader must deal with things only they can deal with and the rest of the tasks they must delegate to their subordinates. Unfortunately, delegating tasks is an art that many managers find difficult to master. They must learn to trust and believe in their subordinates. Sure, there will be disasters but look at it as an opportunity to learn and to improve your methods. Once a manager has gotten a hang of it, they can invest time into things that are in need of their attention.

Managers can use the following ways to master the art of employee delegation:

1.Communicate Clearly:

Most of the time, the reason for the task ending up being done in the wrong way is not because of the inability of the subordinates but because of miscommunication, or a complete lack of communication to begin with. The leader must make it a point to sit down with their subordinates, have a one-on-one conversation with them and cover all the vital parts of the task; what is to be done and how it is to be done.

2.Delegate to the Right Person:

Asking a photographer to act and asking an actor to sing would most likely end up in a disaster. A manager’s job is not to perform the task but discover who would be the best fit to perform the task. It is important the manager remains aware of everyone’s skills, abilities and interests so they can delegate the tasks accordingly. If a task requires one to be trained to carry it out, provide the subordinates with that so that they become a pro at performing certain tasks again and again.

3.Trust the Subordinates with the New Tasks:

When a company receives a new order for something peculiar, supervisors often feel that it is something that they should do themselves; this is their first mistake. Managers should be able to trust their employees with new tasks as well. There is no saying if the client will favor the task done by the subordinate or the supervisor. If the task is really very important, then the supervisor must have it done along with a subordinate so that they can handle it alone the next time. Also, do not become overbearing or pressurize the subordinate over the importance of the project. Stress and pressure often leads to negative results.

4.Delegate not just the Task but Authority too:

Asking the janitor to take care of the supply closet without providing the key is something only a fool would do. Similarly, if a task is being delegated to the subordinate, then they must also be given access, responsibility and authority that would be needed to perform the assigned task.

It’s true that delegating tasks is a challenge and only a leader who knows how to delegate tasks can take the business to the next level.


April Salsbury, MBA is a strategist, an analyst, an operational guru, a recognized leader and C-suite global healthcare executive with drive and focus for competitive markets. Co-host of The Business Forum Show and regular contributor to various business journals, she possess multi-functional and multi-national competencies with more than 15 years experience in business and healthcare. Her expertise is in invigorating revenue growth and infusing value of lean practices in growing companies through improvements to cash flow and operations management.

Fueling revenue, growth and profit, Salsbury & Co. is a consultancy firm focused on helping businesses and healthcare organizations achieve excellency. Our specialists have executive experience combined with deep functional expertise to provide our clients with services that drive real impact and results.

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